so in 2018 i created a mobile game using resource from Flaticon and Freepik. and recently i buy the premium subscription from flaticon. after reading the FAQ again, some of it make me confused so i decide to contact flaticon and freepik whether what i do is forbidden or not. i show them this image

enter image description here

that is screenshot from my "gueess the fruit / vegetable" games

the fruit image is from flaticon, and the backgrounnd pattern is from freepik

turns out, they say that it is forbidden because the image/icon is used as MAIN ELEMENT. and it applies both to free member or premium member.

is this normal ? does other icon/image stock site also have this kind of rule? now i think i need to find replacement for the icon. is there other site similar to flaticon & freepik that doesnt have this kind of rule ? thank you

UPDATE i also ask Flaticon about my other game enter image description here it's a color matching game. the Tick and X button is from flaticon. they say it is also forbidden because it is the main element.

  • Note that many sites have a special price for licensing graphics for games.
    – joojaa
    Sep 21, 2021 at 16:33
  • 1
    I believe almost all royalty free stock sites have stipulations against their images being used as the primary selling factor for anything. Basically, you can't use their imagery as the primary brand identifier without an extended license or rights purchase. This would fall under "logo usage" in most agreements for stock sites.
    – Scott
    Sep 21, 2021 at 17:09
  • @Faiz Did you get an awnser from SmashIcons?
    – madmilk
    Nov 28, 2021 at 15:01
  • @madmilk yes. they allowed me.
    – Faiz
    Nov 29, 2021 at 16:02

4 Answers 4


Yes, this is normal.

Practically all royalty-free stock image sites have a clause which prohibits usage as a primary brand identifier (logo). Your usage is described as a logo usage overall, even if you aren't calling it a "logo".

I understand the issue is troubling for you. But I don't know what resolution you are expecting here.

  • Either purchase a license which allows you to use the image as you wish
  • Create original artwork
  • Scour license agreements at other sites to find one that allows your usage

I'd unlikely that someone here may know a site offering royalty-free, logo-like, usage since designers often create such images from scratch.

And it doesn't matter if others are misusing images from the same sites you are. That doesn't strengthen your case at all. If others break a license, that doesn't give you permission to also break a license.

  • unfortunately, as far as i know, freepik and flaticon doesn't have extended license. and you say Practically all royalty-free stock image sites have a clause which prohibits this usage. that means it's not really safe to use stock image for this kind of use right? and the 2 screenshot on this post is both from my games, not from other people, sorry maybe it's because of my bad english.
    – Faiz
    Sep 21, 2021 at 18:59
  • 1
    There are stock sites that have extended licenses, which obviously cost more, especially more than "free". You may find something similar you can use, but yeah, you'd have to pay for it. You can always create your own artwork. As for the + and √ those are relatively universal symbols. Claiming ownership over those would be like claiming ownership over the wheel.
    – Scott
    Sep 21, 2021 at 19:06
  • i have sent email to SmashIcon to ask whether my usage is forbidden or not. If not then i will use their icon for my vegetable/fruit game. In the second screenshot do you think my use of X and Tick button count as main element ? as in the fruit game?
    – Faiz
    Sep 21, 2021 at 19:19
  • My opinion is the Pink image uses the icons as icons, not as branding. The word "Pink", in conjunction with the background color, would be seen as branding there. Again, merely my opinion. I'm not a trademark or copyright attorney.
    – Scott
    Sep 21, 2021 at 19:32

I'm sure you'll find suitable icons of vegetables in about any stock image website like Adobe stock, shutterstock, iStock, pixabay etc.


No affiliation to any of these

Never seen this rule for any stock image and am not sure why they made this rule. The most similar rule I came across is that if an illustration is used on its own (like printing a T-Shirt with this motive) would cost extra.

  • 2
    This would fall under "logo usage" in most agreements for stock sites. And pretty much all royalty free sites have that clause.
    – Scott
    Sep 21, 2021 at 17:10
  • @Julian i thought the rule of main element only apply to something like that (T-shirt) but after asking freepik & flaticon they say that my use is forbidden. i am quite shocked. in the site that you mentioned there are many icons. but i dont know if they have the same rule as freepik & flaticon. i afraid that this kind of rules doesnt always show up at front (not written on their site).
    – Faiz
    Sep 21, 2021 at 18:12
  • @Scott really ? logo is unique and can be trademarked. so i think it's normal for stock site to forbid it. but in my case i think it can't be compared to logo?
    – Faiz
    Sep 21, 2021 at 18:15
  • it's the primary brand image as you describe it @FaizAgilWirawan -- that's generally a "logo" if not in name, in usage. Users recognize your app by the icon, right? How is that different than something like the Chase app, or the Domino's app.. or any app that does use an established logo?
    – Scott
    Sep 21, 2021 at 18:27
  • 1
    It's an argument for certain @JulianSteinmann - But I can see the stock site's side of things. App is recognized by the icon.. thus making it a brand identifier.. which is a logo by definition. I certainly wouldn't have any desire to actually litigate it. I'd find different (original) imagery :)
    – Scott
    Sep 21, 2021 at 18:49

Stock image sites can make any rule they want as far a licensing is concerned. It's their business, and their rules. So yes, that's normal. You may have to pay for an extended licence for certain uses. They might not allow certain uses at all. I've come across this before where certain images are not allowed to be used for example as prints or on printed products like mugs, or posters.

As far as resolving the problem, how about just making your own graphic? I mean, draw your own broccoli graphic, or hire someone to draw it for you if you don't have the skills.

  • yeah in freepik & flaticon that kind of use (mugs,tshirt,etc) is also forbidden if it is the Main Element. I am a programmer and i can't really draw. also this game contain many fruit and vegetable icon, about 40+, not just brocolli. if i were to hire someone to draw that much i think it will cost so much money. so my hope is in the stock site.
    – Faiz
    Sep 21, 2021 at 18:27
  • 1
    @Faiz Maybe find some designs that are Creative Commons Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication, such as those on sites such as OpenClipArt.org.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 21, 2021 at 23:35

You may use images (after verifying is stated source credible) from Wikimedia Commons. See for example https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Broccoli_icons

You can also look through https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Vegetable_icons in general, maybe you will find some acceptable sources that are not yet classified or uploaded to Wikimedia Commons and have icons you need.

  • thank you. now i use icon from smashicon. i contacted them about this.
    – Faiz
    Nov 29, 2021 at 16:04

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